More than 130 people from the farming community attended an event coordinated by FCN volunteers in Dorset on 19 December.

The event is part of our ‘Yarn in a Barn’ project, supporting our volunteers in bringing local farming communities together to socialise and to discuss topical issues in farming, whilst presenting solutions and ideas.

One farmer who attended said: “𝘐 𝘥𝘰𝘯’𝘵 𝘨𝘰 𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺 𝘰𝘧𝘵𝘦𝘯, 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘬 𝘺𝘰𝘶 – 𝘐 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 𝘦𝘯𝘫𝘰𝘺𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘵”

Yarn in a Barn is a timely initiative – research by FCN and University of Exeter into loneliness and isolation in farming highlighted the importance of social events in helping to address these issues:

And a survey coordinated this month by FCN and the other Farming Help charities (Addington Fund and Forage Aid) as part of LAMMA Show & LAMMA365 found that the strong sense of community is a vital part of UK agriculture, and one of the things farmers are most proud of:

Yarn in a Barn is made possible in Dorset thanks to the support of the Richard Oatley Trust. Throughout 2023, FCN is planning many more Yarn in a Barn events across England and Wales supported by the Mercer Charitable Foundation, with events in the South West of England supported by the Richard Oatley Trust.

Q&A with attendee

What do you feel went well with the Dorset FCN Yarn in a Barn?

I think the event was very well organised and ran very smoothly – there was enough time to mingle but no time to get bored! I was also pretty impressed with how many people came.

Why did you decide to attend this event? 

I decided to attend the event because FCN is a charity that I would like to support – I think the work you do is fantastic and absolutely necessary. It was also a good opportunity to grab a few people and get out of the house on a dark evening, instead of sitting at home and watching TV!

Why are social opportunities such as this important for people in agriculture?

I think events like these are important for people in agriculture as they provide a reason / an opportunity to go out and socialise. Especially on dark winter nights, it is so easy to stay at home, and depending on farm size, some people may not see anyone during the day either so it can get quite lonely. The dark winter months can be depressing for everyone, but it’s harder when you don’t share them with anyone!

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